Stage and screen star Michael James Scott (Aladdin; Book of Mormon; Something Rotten!) is set to host of this year’s Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth concert, to be presented in the Duffy Square section of Times Square on Sunday, June 18, from 11 am-12:30 pm, as part of The Broadway League’s “Black to Broadway Initiative.” The outdoor rain-or-shine event is free and open to everyone, to honor the day when the last enslaved people in the US learned they were emancipated (June 19, 1865 – now a federal holiday legislated by President Joe Biden and passed by Congress in 2021), with song, dance, and spoken word. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.
The celebration, written and directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, with music direction by Rashad McPherson, will feature more than 25 Black artists from a dozen Broadway shows (& Juliet; A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical; Camelot; Chicago; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; MJ The Musical; New York, New York; Parade; Shucked; SIX; Some Like It Hot; and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), along with a sneak-peek performance of the upcoming Broadway musical The Wiz and kids from current and recent Broadway productions who will perform a special musical number, with live music provided by The Music Performance Trust Fund. Please note that performances and artists are subject to change.
Along with the entertainment, the 2023 Juneteenth Legacy Award will be presented to Tony Award-winning director and producer Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun; Topdog/Underdog; Ohio State Murders), who is being recognized for his notable impact on Broadway and his commitment to working on projects that involve educational, philanthropic, and advocacy efforts.
“Congratulations to producer and Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon as the recipient of the 2023 Juneteenth Legacy Award,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “We acknowledge his enormous contributions to Broadway, which have resulted in staging powerful works that delve into Black storylines and star Black artists. Through his many endeavors, he has created opportunities for diverse voices to be heard.”
This year’s event sponsors include United Airlines, M·A·C (Make-up Art Cosmetics), the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, The Music Performance Trust Fund, The Araca Group, Open Jar Studios, and The Times Square Alliance.
Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth plays on Sunday, June 18, 2023, 11 am-12:30 pm, at Duffy Square in Times Square, between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, 45th-47th Streets, NYC. Admission is free. Masks are not required.